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VTS Announces Move to Online Classes and Chapel Closure

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Curtis Prather
Tel: (703) 461-1782
Email: cprather@vts.edu
 
ALEXANDRIA,VA – 
Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) announced that, as of Wednesday, March 11, all classes will be held online through the end of Spring Break (March 16-20), in response to the voluntary self-isolation of several members of the VTS community after direct contact with individuals who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
 
Additionally, the Seminary has closed Immanuel Chapel until further notice after learning that a part-time organist who was in the Chapel on February 26, March 2, and March 4, tested positive for COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the exposure to congregants “low risk,” however, the DC Department of Health and the Alexandria Department of Health recommend that anyone who visited the Chapel on those dates monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days from their last visit.
 
“Self-monitoring includes checking body temperature twice a day and monitoring for symptoms of cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or temperature higher than 100.4 F,” the Alexandria Health Department said.
 
At VTS, we are conscious of the need to protect our community and guests from the virus as much as we are able. Our assumption throughout is that we are seeking to follow the advice of the CDC and other health-related authorities and medical professionals.
 
“While uncertainty surrounds us on every side, we are invited to trust in the agency and work of the Creator God,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. “Let us pray for those impacted by this virus and for those public servants and doctors who are working to ameliorate the situation.”
 
For the latest information, please visit www.vts.edu/coronavirus.
 
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Founded in 1823 as a beacon of hope in a country new and finding its way, Virginia Theological Seminary is the flagship Seminary of the Episcopal Church. One of our first benefactors was Francis Scott Key whose poem provides the text for our national anthem. In the 191 years since being established, VTS has led the way in forming leaders of the Episcopal Church, including: the Most Rev. John E. Hines (VTS 1933, D.D. 1946), former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church; the Rt. Rev. John T. Walker (VTS 1954, D.D. 1978), the first African-American bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington; and theologian, author and lay preacher Ms. Verna J. Dozier (VTS D.D. 1978). Serving the worldwide Anglican Communion, Virginia Theological Seminary educates approximately 25% of those being ordained who received residential theological education. Visit us online at www.vts.edu.
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